The eighteenth century furniture trade in Edinburgh : a study based on documentary sources
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“The existing work is easy to summarise; despite the ever present nature of furniture in people's lives, and its obvious position in a social context as a reflection of taste, wealth and progress, the study in Scotland of the trade which made it, and the furniture itself, has until recently been sadly neglected.” -- From the Preface. “This thesis is intended to hang flesh on the bones of Francis Bamford's ‘Dictionary of Edinburgh Wrights’, rather than to be a counterpart to Pat Kirkham's study of the London trade¹². Whereas in Glasgow 'no rich vein of documentation has revealed the existence of a dominant city manufacturer comparable with Trotter of Edinburgh, whose furniture and business activities can be traced back into the eighteenth century¹³', in Edinburgh rich veins do exist. They have been used not only to illuminate the careers of individuals but also to explore the great range of services which these individuals offered. The editorial of the 1992 volume of ‘Regional Furniture’ states that 'some work on Norwich, Chester, Doncaster, Lancaster and Glasgow is in print, but coverage is patchy'. That Edinburgh had such a clearly vibrant trade will hopefully be of encouragement to historians of all major British cities, even those that did not benefit from the privileges of a capital city, or bask in the reflected glow of the Enlightenment.” – From the Introduction.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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